Photo by Mark Hoskins

Harlan County guard Rebecca Middleton raced down the court during the Lady Bears’ 74-55 win at Clay County in the Southeastern Kentucky Conference Panorama. Middleton finished with 10 points.

Lady Bears triumph over Clay County

MANCHESTER — Harlan County was impressive in its final preseason tuneup Tuesday in the Southeastern Kentucky Conference Panorama at Clay County, racing to a 10-0 lead, then holding off a Clay County comeback late in the first half before pulling away for a 74-55 victory.

Senior guard Blair Green scored 16 points to lead the Lady Bears, who rolled past Southwestern 66-47 on Saturday. Junior guard Phebe McHargue contributed 12 points and senior center Kaylea Gross added 10.

Kaylee Mathis scored 13 points and Taylor Asher added 11 for Clay County.

Mathis brought Clay back in the first quarter, scoring seven points to cut the deficit to 15-12 by the end of the period. K.K. Johnson scored five in the opening quarter to help HCHS get off to the fast start.

Clay got as close as two, at 21-19, before McHargue sparked a run with a 3-pointer and jumper on two straight possessions. Green hit two free throws and Shelby McDaniel turned a steal into a layup to cap an 11-3 run as the Lady Bears took a 32-22 lead into the break.

Baskets by Gross and Green followed by a 3-pointer from Johnson pushed the lead to 15 early in the third quarter. Two baskets by Rebecca Middleton and one each from Lainey Cox and Breann Turner gave HCHS a 57-38 lead going into the final period.

Harlan County took its biggest lead, at 25 points, as Cox and Green answered two baskets by Parker in a 10-4 run to open the fourth quarter. Shelby Phillips, Asher and Kimberlyn Mills each hit 3-pointers down the stretch as Clay got as close as 17 before Macie Napier closed the scrimmage with a jumper.

The Lady Bears will open their regular season schedule Monday at home against Middlesboro. Clay County will play Corbin on Nov. 30 at North Laurel in the Legacy Nissan Classic. HCHS will play North Laurel in the Legacy Nissan Classic.

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Harlan County (74) — K.K. Johnson 8, Phebe McHargue 12, Rebecca Middleton 10, Lainey Cox 6, Blair Green 16, Kaylea Gross 10, Breann Turner 8, Shelby McDaniel 2, Macie Napier 2.

Clay County (55) — Taylor Asher 11, Shelby Phillips 9, Kimberlyn Mills 9, Kaylee Mathis 13, Summer Parker 8, Candy McClure 2, Edwina Hacker 2, Alexis Lewis 1.